On Trend: iPad 3, Sauconys and Members Only Jackets

What's next?

Years I have worn Saucony Rides, in every color available: at least 7

Times my son has mentioned the iPad 3, now apparently called the iPad HD, to me in the last two months: 124

Members Only jackets I owned in seventh grade: 2

My favorite memory of my great uncle Don was when he came to visit us all at my grandmother’s house. It was circa 1985, and he was wearing a Members Only jacket. He had bought it only after a scare where the sales guy mentioned the name, and Don started apologizing, afraid he was touching items available only to an exclusive club.

Yeah. It was the club of cool middle schoolers. Word. I got my first Members Only jacket the Christmas of seventh grade. It was black, as I had specified, and I wore it over every single article of clothing I owned from December until June, when school let out for the summer. When I walked the 3/4 mile to school carrying my violin and books that slid everywhere (backpacks were so uncool), my jacket kept me looking on trend. In January, I froze to death because I was way too cool to wear an actual coat, with lining and stuff. In April, I pushed the sleeves up and sweated in that sucker. I really hope my mom washed it from time to time, but I don’t remember that part. I must have taken it off to go to sleep, right?

The next year, I asked for a slightly upscale version of my Goth-like favorite. Christmas of eighth grade was the salmon-colored, slightly girlier version of the previous year’s fave. When I walked to school, people were less afraid I was going to beat them up, Outsiders-style. It also complimented the bright green eyeshadow I was fond of wearing, the eyeshadow my mom would inspect before I walked out the door and say, “You’re going to school… like that?”

I’m still fascinated by trends, about why people make the choices they do. After reading Steve Jobs’s biography, it was incredible to learn that he made product-line choices based solely on what he liked. He believed that he knew better than the average person did what they might want in the future. No trend-spotters for him.

We could probably all learn from him: you can’t make people read your blog or buy your jackets or even just “Like” things, and there are plenty of examples of big companies who figured this out the hard way… remember New Coke?

I have been to my local running store now twice and have to head back later this week because my shoes are once again on order. Instead of citron and black, my new ones will have a thin, pink accent. The running shoe companies seem to understand that we want color and variety and trend-consciousness. But where they seem to be missing the point is on the re-design.

My stand-bys, the Saucony Rides, are one size larger than my regular shoes and built like boats. They are not streamlined or sexy or slim. But that’s the point. I have a super-high arch, and I need lots and lots of cushioning and support. And really, when I’m running super-fast (or not), who can tell how clunky they are?

Problem for me: guess what Saucony’s doing next? This summer’s re-vamp will strip down the cushioning layer to move toward the trend of less shoe, more Vibram Five-Finger-ness. Sigh. Next trend: hip replacement? Arch reconstruction?

And in the meantime, the latest trend in my house is reminding my son that even if the iPad 3 has Siri or teleportation or a quantum physics app, he won’t be getting one.